Hotel Review: Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale-Commercial Blvd – Tamarac, FL

Finding a hotel in Ft. Lauderdale is so frustrating for me. It only takes us about three hours to drive there so we’ll sometimes plan a quick getaway weekend. It’s just far enough away that driving there and back for the day is a pain (especially if we stay late for something), but it’s still close enough to home that we don’t want to spend a bunch of money for a hotel room for one night.

All of the hotels near downtown charge extraordinarily high rates and some of them even charge an additional resort fee as well as mandatory valet parking. I learned this when a free night at a Hilton ended up costing me over $65.

As this was going to be a truly quick trip, I had a few main requirements. The room would preferably be free and relatively close to Ft. Lauderdale. After looking with IHG, Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt there were no good options to redeem points. Even the base hotels were costing a tremendous amount of points in relation to the cash price. Since it looked like I was going to need to pay for the room, I focused on Hilton since Sharon needed a stay to keep her account active. I found a decently priced hotel and booked it for the night, and figured out a way to get it for free, while I was at it.

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Hotel Review: St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London – Junior Suite

For our trip to London, choosing a hotel was one of the easiest things I had to do. Knowing that we were staying for five nights, I immediately started to think about hotels where I could get a free night. The Citi Prestige gives the fourth night free on paid stays but I didn’t want to pay for a hotel this trip. Hilton offers the fifth night free on award stays for anyone with Silver status and above, but I didn’t have enough Hilton points for a long stay in London. If you have the IHG Premier credit card, you get the fourth night free on award stays but we still have the older Select version of the IHG card so that wasn’t an option either.

The other program that offers a fifth night free on award stays is Marriott Bonvoy. We had plenty of Marriott points and I’m trying to burn them in a smart way before the first points devaluation (already past) and the future implementation of Off Peak and Peak pricing.

Once I narrowed my focus to Marriott, there was one hotel on our list of places we really wanted to stay.

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Hope For Notre Dame’s Future, Free Delta Giveaways, Should You Tip Housekeeping, & More…

Happy Tuesday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! Here are some articles we’ve read from other bloggers (and other sources) that we think you may like, as well, so we’re passing them along.

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WDW Price Hike,Vegas Price Decrease, Do These Hotels’ Points Still Have Value?, & More!

Happy Sunday to all of our travel friends, both near and far! It was a busy week in the miles and points world. With the April 1st posts and United devaluation, I’m surprised that bloggers were able to write about anything else but there was plenty of other news. Here’s some of my favorite posts of the week, along with some posts I’ve been saving for a rainy week.

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Hotel Review: Residence Inn New York Manhattan/Times Square

I have hotels in Manhattan I like to stay in when we’re going to see shows. A different hotel might be better when I’m going to see the premiere of MST3K at a movie theater near Lincoln Center. There’s even a great hotel when we’re in New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. This trip called for something different and totally foreign to me; I needed a hotel that would be good for seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.

Fortunately, we planned this trip way in advance. I was able to do my research and found the best hotel for our needs and our price range. I would have loved if I could afford to stay at one of the hotels where you can see the parade from your room but I wasn’t willing to pay several thousand dollars for a package (as the places with the good locations know they’re desirable and charge accordingly). The hotel I picked was available to book with points so it was really the perfect place to stay.

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